I was in 8th grade when I got to know through school textbooks that plastic waste is not decomposable. After that I started questioning and bugging people around me to not use plastic all the time.
I completed my bachelors in IT and worked in the same sector.
But I was looking for something to do for the environment so I quit my job and completed my master’s in business but with focus on sustainability. Along with my work I kept volunteering with NGO’s for social cause.
I realized even if a small organization takes some step to preserve the environment it is going to make a big difference. Then I started upcycling plastic on my own and that’s how I landed up in sustainability and waste management.
As I am a trekking enthusiast during my travels I saw that people in rural India needed employment options other than agriculture. So I launched my company reCharkha with the idea of conserving environment and creating employments for remote villages.
The entire approach of upcycling at reCharkha is very interesting. Because we not just recycle plastic waste but we weave it using charkha and handloom. So the complete process is very special.
Although recycling waste plastic into usable products is laborious and time consuming process; for making one bag around 50 wrappers or plastic bags are upcycled and a single item can take more than 3 days to make.
The process begins with collecting upcycling non-biodegradable and difficult-to-recycle plastic bags, grocery bags, multilayered wrappers of cookies, chips and glittery gifts wraps.
Then washing the plastic bags and drying them under the Sun. Tribal craft workers cut the sun-dried plastic bags with scissors. Then it is spun on a charkha to make yarn and later woven on a hand loom to make fabric.
This hand-woven fabric is stitched like any other fabric to create consumer accessories like tote bags, clutches, laptop bags, purses, water-bottle holders, book covers and more. The demand is gradually picking up and we plan to expand globally. we upcycle your waste for better tommorow.
I want people to understand that plastic has become massive threat to our ecosystem. It takes hundreds of years to decompose in soil. Only recycling and upcycling is not going to help.
So say no to plastic. We have no right to snatch from our future generation their right to have a clean and beautiful earth!
Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda